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Severe tropical cyclones tear apart houses in Australia

20 February 2015 13:59

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Two severe cyclones have swept into Australia, ripping apart houses, uprooting trees and knocking out electricity to thousands of people.

Tropical Cyclone Marcia, a top-rating category five storm, hit the Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Yeppoon on Thursday.

In the Northern Territory, Tropical Cyclone Lam also made landfall as a category 4 system, striking Elcho Island and causing extensive damage to remote Aboriginal communities.

Local residents said that the cyclones had torn off roofs from a number of houses and uprooted trees.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said local residents should be prepared for evacuation if advised by the authorities.

It warned about possible tidal and flash flooding, adding that destructive winds are also threatening coastal and island communities.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there had been “a lot of structural damage” in the towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton, but “mo loss of life” so far.

According to the official, 33,000 residences were without power in the Livingstone/Yeppoon area and 20,000 in Rockhampton.

Queensland’s state emergency service also said that they received reports of some minor injuries, but no reports of death or serious injuries.

Queensland has been hit by several major storms and cyclones over the past few years.

In 2013, Cyclone Oswald flooded parts of the state, inflicting heavy damage to numerous bridges and led to communication interruptions, electrical blackouts and water supply problems.

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